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The South West Design + Digital Student Awards are back for 2020!

New year, new challenge. The South West Design + Digital Student Awards are back in business!

3D piggy banks

New year, new challenge. The South West Design + Digital Student Awards are back in business!

For creative and digital students, the final year at uni is when things get real. Wouldn’t life be a little easier if someone handed you up to £4k in cash, a 3-month paid internship, industry exposure and an award title to put on your CV?

You might like the South West Design + Digital Student Awards then.

Three categories. Three winners. One ultimate champion.

Opening for entries on February 1st 2020, the awards are your opportunity to prove you’re the best in the South West.

Open to all final year students studying in South West England and South Wales, we have three categories:

  • Graphic Design: For all things offline, including 2D, 3D, typography and print related.
  • Digital Design: Online design projects such as animation, web design, video and digital graphic design.
  • Front-End Development: Development that incorporates visuals, like websites, online tools, digital games and apps.

We’ll invite 10 finalists to P+S headquarters in Bristol to be interviewed by our panel of judges, and then announce our three winners and one ultimate creative champion at our awards evening.

The brief, you ask? There isn’t one.

You can enter any project you like, as long as it falls into one of the above categories and it’s your own work. Then, you just need to prove to our judges that it has commercial value. So, ask yourself:

  • Does this project have a purpose?
  • Is there a market, cultural, and/or social demand for it?
  • How could it be rolled out as a campaign across multiple channels?

It’s that simple. The winner of each category is awarded £1,000, with one of them chosen as our ultimate creative champion, receiving an additional £3,000 and a 3-month paid internship at P+S.

Take a look at last year’s awards evening here.

Meet the judges

We pick the crème de la crème of the industry to judge our awards. Think less ‘Dragons’, more Design Icons.

Ready to meet this year’s line-up? Introducing the first six:

  • Hayley Brooksbank, Head of Communications and Brand, Osborne Clarke LLP. Hayley has been developing top brands for nearly 25 years. So, she’s an expert in everything from design, development and messaging, to product and creative strategy.
  • Nema Hart, Creative Media Relationship Manager, Arts Council England South West. Nema has led small, large, and million-pound regional, national and international projects within the arts and technology space – including London’s Creative Economy Programme. Plus, her organisation, Submerge, encourages employment and entrepreneurialism, providing a platform for graduates, researchers and innovators to celebrate, network and promote their skills to industry.
  • Paul Bird, Creative Director, Elixel. Recently voted the most influential figure by tech start-ups in the Tech Nation Report, Paul’s the co-founder of the Digital Plymouth movement, and heavily involved in Connected Plymouth, Digital Leadership and Tech South West steering groups.
  • Dan Hardaker, Head of Digital Design, P+S. Seasoned digital media, marketing, and print expert, and specialist in all things of the UX and UI design variety. His designs have featured in Europe, the USA, Japan, and the Middle East for clients like Hilton, The Open University and Panasonic, to name a few.
  • Chris Roberts, Creative Director of Dyson. Responsible for managing Dyson’s global brand image and identity, he’s in charge of their worldwide reputation. In true testament to his talent – and our keen eye for recognising it – Chris was a winner of the original P+S SWDDS Awards back in 1994!

Our finalists will be invited to a 25-minute interview with our full judging panel to present their projects and explain why they’re deserving of the prize. So, make sure you get to know them, and keep an eye on our judges page for regular updates (and for hyperlinks to their LinkedIn profiles, for extra stalking).

A day of tension, excitement and drama

Last year’s projects were exceptional – for all but one category.

The same rules applied for last year’s Front-End Development award as this year’s. We wanted justification, a commercial need and beautiful design/great code. And it was to be awarded to the best interactive technology project or concept – maybe a game, app or website.

But we didn’t find a winner.

So, this year, the search is on for a front-end prodigy. Think you could be the one we’re looking for? Know someone who could be? It’s time to shout about it!

Let’s show the world what the South West and South Wales are made of

Powered by P+S, the awards were launched by our very own MD Roger Proctor, as part of his ongoing campaign to tackle how institutions approach design education.

Over the years, Rog had noticed something about design graduates leaving university: often they had exceptional talent, but no commercial experience. A big problem, when creating a commercially-viable concept that clients and customers will buy into is half the job!

Frustrated by the lack of culture and creativity funding anywhere west of London, he also wanted to do something to celebrate local talent. The South West and South Wales are bursting with creative flair, with their vibrant cities, bustling creative networks, and brimming art venues.

Plus, the awards are designed to be as accessible as possible. We know a lot of students have limited free time – especially those who need to work alongside their degree. It’s why they’ve been designed so you can choose to enter an existing project from your course.

Industry exposure, recognition of your talent, networking opportunities, a portfolio review and the opportunity to showcase your work – and some brilliant prizes, too. It could all be yours.

All you need to do is show us what you’ve got.

Ready for the challenge?

Entries open on February 1st, so mark your calendars. The interview day with the judges and the awards ceremony will be held on 4th June (so no booking any sneaky trips away).

To make sure you don’t miss any of our updates, like our Facebook page and register your interest here. Our FAQs page is also a handy resource.

Any burning questions? Drop us a line at awards@proctors.co.uk.

Good luck!

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